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The Emperor of Ice-Cream

The Emperor of Ice-Cream


by Wallace Stevens

The Emperor of Ice-Cream Summary

The poem begins with cigars and ice cream being prepared. Women ("wenches") are hanging out and boys are bringing flowers. Hey, is somebody having a party? Nope, it turns out. These are preparations for a funeral, or perhaps more likely a wake.

Who died? We learn that it's a she, and that she has "horny feet." Not attractive. Beyond that, we don't really know much about this woman, other than the she used to like to sew, and that her dresser is missing some knobs. Sad. The speaker calls for a lamp to be lit, and reminds us that "The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream."

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